Right now I have a serious case of a strange and very real cruel disease that affects all us habitual concert goers. I am talking about Post Concert Depression.
What exactly is PCD you ask? Well, if you have never experienced it count yourself among the lucky ones. It is an awful feeling of depression, sadness, distress, and withdrawal that you get a few days after you have been to a concert.
It sneaks up on you, so watch out.
The day of the show, you are hyped. You’re seeing a favorite band of yours. Your heart is pounding, your blood is pumping through your veins. You begin your quest for the holy grail… Barricade, also known as the front row or barrier.
The show begins, the band comes out and you are in a blissful heaven. Forgetting there is an existing world outside of the venue. You are surrounded by people who share your affinity and love of the band/concerts.
Immediately after the show, you are on the most natural of highs possible. You are reliving the moments of the show. Singing the songs, being goofy with the people you came with. Possibly meeting the band. Then you go home and the pain begins.
These are the remnants of what you felt while standing front row, singing (possibly crying) along to your favorite song. It enfolds you into the night, past the merch table and onto the sidewalk where you’ll either choose to battle traffic, or wait by a fence near their bus hoping your favorite musicians come outside to say, “Hello.” Euphoria will extend if you do the latter.
Phase Two: Reflection
You will take a moment to register everything that happened–either loudly with your friends who were there or quietly on your own. Some people choose to use this phase of their post-show life to write a review or to upload photos. During this phase, you may find yourself writing grandiose statements about how your life is changed forever, or how yes,
Fall Out Boy ( Alex Turner ) can save rock and roll and you’ll take that to your grave. (Too much?)
Phase Three: Realization
Wait. You just said this show changed your life. At this moment, you will take in the full weight of that feeling. And here’s where the sadness starts to set in: You start to realize you’ll never experience it again and that all the photos and descriptions in the world can never, ever really capture the beautiful thing you just experienced.
Phase Four: Reality
The next day, you will return to your everyday life, which will seem exceedingly inferior after the night you just had. You may just go through the day-to-day motions and wonder, “What’s the point? This isn’t life. Last night’s show–that was life. That was being alive. This is merely living.”
Phase Five: Feeling Outcasted
To cheer yourself up, you may find yourself grasping to go back a few phases to “reflection” and share with people who weren’t at the show. Most humans will respond with a half-hearted “Oh, that’s cool” or “Sounds fun.” And it’s just like, “But you don’t understand. It was so much more than that!”But what it means to you is impossible to articulate.At this point, you realize no one understands you, and the people who do aren’t anywhere to be found, probably because they’re at a show, which leads to…
Phase Six: Stalking
Okay. Maybe the people who immediately surround you don’t get it, but there are definitely friends within the fanbase who do. You want a second taste and you’ll live vicariously through others to get it. You hunt down your friends who are going to upcoming dates, Twitter list them and refresh the shit out of that list continuously until the night is over for any sign of photographs or a glimpse at the show. You scour the Tumblr tags and YouTube and creep on the venue and tour staff–anything you can do to just get a teensy peek.
Phase Seven: Lack Of Impulse Control
You realize your lonely lifeless existence can be sated only by more of what put you in your current predicament to begin with: a show. You may find yourself on LiveNation, looking at that next date seven states away thinking, “Yes, this is a good idea.” And, you know, I can’t argue with that. You might spend money (like, a lot of it) to feel alive again… Wow, this sounds like an addiction. Holy shit, do we have an addiction?
Phase Eight: Acceptance
Yes. We have an addiction, and yes, we’re going to go to that show seven states away, because we can justify it. What if this is the last tour for a long time? We can’t wait that long. Here, you will either buy those tickets and repeat the cycle, or realize that circumstances are out of your hands and that you’re just going to have to tough it out until next time.
Phase Nine: Living
Eventually, all the bad post-show symptoms will fade, and you will be able to look at your photos from the show not as soulless reflections of a night you’ll never have again, but as memories, and those memories will sustain you. Until the next time you more than willingly put yourself through this torture again.
While I do agree with all of these, I have found that us here at the GATRS we have another phase. It usually hits us sometime after we leave the show, late at night, or when the CD player/iPod is playing the artists’ songs on loop.
We call it the Bargaining Phase.
This phase is the phase that gets expensive and makes us think anything is possible. It starts with someone and trust me it has been all of us at one time or the other. It usually goes a little something like this…. It’s late. You have just left the concert. The car is quiet. The CD player is on a constant loop of the mix tape you made of the band you just saw. Finally someone says something..
“It is NOT in the neighborhood, it is 3 states away”
“Hmm.. Yeah… You are right”
“You Know, there is a possibility they could play (insert drivers favorite song here)”
**They usually give you a hard glare at this point but you can figuratively see the wheels starting to turn in their heads**
“Look. The turn off to (insert the next tour city) is only 30 miles up the road”
**People take out their phones to look over available tickets on Stubhub**
And that my lovely friends, is how you delay the PCD. The only true way to get over post concert depression is to go to more concerts. Trust us GATRS, we have the Bargaining phase down.